Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. And Ass Kicking.

Well, it's been a hell of a year. Lots of changes, pretty much all of them good. I've had a huge number of realizations —I can't really describe them any other way—and have, it seems, almost daily made connections about myself and life that have eluded me til this year. It's been great, but it's also kicked my ass. I doubt that the next year (or the years to follow) will lessen my revelatory pace, but I'm exhausted. It' been a trying year, as well, what with the loss of my job and the associated stress (nothing like coming to the very edge of the waterfall, only to see a lifeline and grab it); it's exhilarating, sure, but I'm tired in a way that I haven't been for years. Like since high school.

Speaking of high school, this year's been a lot like a rehash of that. A lot like a condensed version of high school, actually. Strange dating experiences (often, I would find myself thinking, "what am I doing here again?"), some angst (mostly about getting older and the feeling that my life was somehow over, even though it was really only starting), confusion about a boundless number of subjects, but mostly about what I'm going to do with my life, (starting over again, it turns out, but that's the same as starting out; it's actually more daunting, cuz you realize how many places you can fail, which is knowledge you don't possess the first time out) and then graduation and the boundless sense of freedom and possibilities that comes with that.

There's still a lot I have to figure out, but I'm looking forward to it, probably really for the first time in my life. There's a lot of folks I need to thank, a lot of people whom I'm thankful to know and to have in my life. I have never been one to want to live someone else's life or even change the life I've had and now is no exception. I can only ope to get a moment's respite so that I can recharge and bash on in the year ahead. It's gonna be a hell of a ride and I can't wait!

Peace y'all!

Wine of The Week - December 18th, 2006

I've been busy drinking—and before you think anything to yourselves, yes, it IS indeed a job to drink wine, think about wine and lay down an opinion about wine, so nyaaaaaah!—some really interesting wines this week, but here's my pick for your holiday consumption:

Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy) 2003

Grapes: Nero d'Avola
Il Moro has a great ruby red color and nuances of garnet red. The nose reveals intense, pleasing and refined aromas of black cherry, blackberry and plum followed by tobacco, leather and a hint of caramel (and only a hint). The palette closely follows the nose, except that there's an additional touch of cocoa-powdered cherries (slightly bitter chocolate flavor followed immediately by cherry). There's a tannic attack, but it's balanced by the wine's alcohol level, good body, intense flavors. The finish, while a bit short, is persistent with flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry. From it's taste and complexity, you'd never know that Il Moro ages in steel tanks and in bottle for at least 9-12 months.

Alcohol: 13.5%
Food matches: Broiled meat and barbecue, sauteed meats with mushrooms, stuffed pasta, hard cheeses.

This is a fairly killer wine; easy drinking, not too acidic, not too high in alcohol. Although I find it a bit tart, I can drink it alone, but it will go really well with just about any of those holiday meals we're all going to invariably be having. For example, I'm thinking of bringing it along for my Christmas eve meal of roast duck. Should be yummy!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Well, the job I wanted to get, I got! I love it when that happens. Money, AMAZING health benefits (it's a natch, though, from these folks!), amazing benefits, period. Interesting work, a LOT to do, too. Everything I want in work right now. Goodbye bread line, hello gravy train!

I'm too excited—and, quite frankly, relieved—to go into any more of it. Holidays are here (Happy Chanukkah everyone!) at last & I'm celebratin'!

Oh, Odelay! still rocks the shit out of me! Yeah, yeah. "Mellow Gold" was the ONLY Beck, EVAR! Sure, sure, whatever you say. Did you like any other Beck albums? If so, it's cuz of Odelay. If you didn't like any more Beck records, well, then you suck. And everyone knows it. So there!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Corinne Bailey Rae

Now, some of you may know that I'm a musichead. have I said this before? Sure I did. Cuz I repeat myself endlessly. Ask anyone. Hell, scroll down. I'm sure I've repeated myself. But if not, I'm sure I will.

In any event, I've been listening to a bunch of stuff lately—some of it thanks to my man JonGre; you rock, bro!—but right now I'm listening to Corinne Bailey Rae and she's rockin my world. I mean, I know I have a penchant for chick rock (and I jut figured out why that is a few days ago, too), but this woman blows me away.

In terms of effect, her initial offering reminds me of Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite: lounge/R&B, but of a very listenable quality/variety. Soulful, funky, heartwrenching in parts across the whole disc. And her vocal range is exquisite. Overall, it's the kinda thing I could easily Krazy Glue into my disc player and play over and over again. Kinda like how I felt about Morcheeba's Big Calm and Soul Coughing's Ruby Vroom.

So, like, go buy it (and I'm not getting endorsements from her record label, either)...


B'gosh 'n' b'golly, I haven't updated this thing in a while. And, in light of my "expanded readership"—howdy DK readers!—I suppose I should add something. And I do have stuff to add now, as it's been a busy few weeks. So, onward! [Note: Firefox 2.0 on an Intel Mac sucks _____ (add your favorite dirty word/body part/whatever). Really. Really. Hard. Firefox folk, please, please, please fix the damn thing! Pinwheel of death is NOT fun!]

So, let's see... Ah, yes. The "wine thing," as my mom calls it (man, she's been confused by my drives/motivations for years now, and there's no signs of it getting better any time soon; but I give her mad props: she supports me as best she can in my endeavors. Love ya, mom! :), has been going really well; I was totally sweating my WSET Intermediate Wine Certification exam. It was like I'd built Mr. Peabody's WABAC (that's "wayback" to you & me) machine and was taking an exam in high school: thought I'd completely screwed the pooch in the exam, only to find that I'd not only passed, but earned marks with distinction! So, I've now signed up for the advanced cert class, which starts January 11th. I'm friggin' psyched!

I've also started working part-time at a boutique wine shop in Clinton Hill called Olivino's. It's a great little wine shop; nice selection of wines, cool customers, cool coworkers. Overall, very nice. And I deeply appreciate that they took me on, considering I have no wine sales experience and my palette's COMPLETELY different from anyone that works in the shop. Yes, yes, all palettes are indeed different, but it seems to me that, as with anything, there are some basic similarities in what/how people taste and that like people come to hang with like. Just like with movies, music, literature or food, people tend to come together in their similar tastes. And mine are just, well, not the same as the people I work with. Mostly. But it's cool and they're very interested in and appreciative of my tastes. And I've started to get a bit of a following with some people in my suggestions, so I suppose I've added a new dimension to the clientele or, at the very least, steering folks towards stuff that they like. Which is hella cool!

In job news, I've got some offers in and am just trying to figure out where I'm gonna land. There's a job I'd really like to take, but the offer for it hasn't come in yet. I'm doin' an interview
later today—man, its late at night/early in the morning right now!—that will hopefully cement an offer, but whatever, I'll be employed before the end of the year and that rocks! I'll finally be able to begin my master plan, as well as move and change my scene/scenery. I've been building and building towards changing my life completely and making it more about doing what I want/love to do and the table's finally getting set. I can't wait!

It's really amazing to me what a different person I've become over the past year: much, much more positive, aware of what I want pretty much for the first time I can remember (man,I remember being a kid and wanting to be a marine biologist; what a long way off I was then and up until recently!) and finally able to affect changes that can get me there. So awesome! Everyone should try it!!!

And, on that note, I'm Audi 5000 for now. Love, peace, hair grease!